Mother & Son Who Live In Cockroach & Rat Infested Room Survive On Bread & Plain Tea Everyday

There’s apparently no shortage of stories like these in Malaysia at the moment and it really makes you think… How can we be failing so terribly as a society?

Despite being told by doctors that the cause of her fall was due to vertigo, a daily-paid dishwasher at a popular food court in Sungai Pinang, K Selvarani, has been laid off from work. The reason her employers gave was that she was suspected of having Covid-19. Now, she, her son and their dog live on bread and plain tea every day.

Their luck got worse when her 28-year-old son, Emmanuel Joseph John, got involved in an accident that rendered him partially blind and weak in his left arm. Working as a security guard and getting paid RM1,000 a month, Emmanuel helps put food on the table but barely and not without struggle.

The tiny partitioned room in which the family stays is known for being infested with cockroaches, rats and even bad plumbing. Only recently, a generous citizen donated a mattresses to the family after finding out their previous ones had been soaked by rain water. They also received a week’s worth of food.

Surviving on their minimum wages and the kindness of others, plain tea and bread are the only two choices on their day-to-day menu. It’s only when generous passers-by donate food, drink and money that they’re able to eat other things. K Selvarani relishes in nasi kandar and fried fish, which they get to eat on certain occasions. Most times, when someone donates RM10, the family feeds on bread and black coffee.

Before the fainting spell, K Selvarani earned RM25 a day, working a 7pm to 1am shift at the food court. Now, with her condition, speech impediment and difficulty hearing, it’s hard for her to find another job.

If you see K Selvarani or her son, be sure to help them out. It’s the least we can do for them.

UPDATE: To contribute, send a message via Whatsapp to Free Malaysia Today’s helpline at 019-3899839